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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Back and Breathing

Greetings, Guests and Mommas-of-All-Sorts!

Okay, I suppose I should be a big girl here, pull my frazzled head out from under the quilted covers, and reassure the world that I'm okay. Really, I'm okay. Disappointed and frustrated, still disbelieving, yes. But okay. Huge thanks to all of you who left strings of heartfelt, profanity-laden words of sympathy. I needed that, some affirmation that the situation sucks. It made me proud to have spurred what was perhaps the most prolific use of the word "fuck" in the history of blogging.

Several really wonderful things, aside from the aforementioned onslaught of brilliantly naughty language, happened these past few days as a direct result of my earning my KuKdX3 badge of honor. Let me pay tribute to those things first, since the fact that they stemmed from something bad makes them no less good:

First of all, Kevin, in an unprecedented move, scooped up our dog Tebow from the living room sofa, carried him into the bedroom where I was lying in bed and sullenly staring at the ceiling, and set him down on top of my chest. He then lay down next to me, and stroked Tebow's head as he licked my slightly-snotty nose (to clarify: the dog licked my nose, not the husband).

Now, it's important to note that Kevin NEVER lets Tebow into the bedroom. It would not only create the potential for muddy paw prints on the sheets, but it would mean that Tebow is potentially equal to Kevin in status, essentially doubling as another "manly master of the household," otherwise known as "He Who Gets To Sleep With the Woman." No, no. Tebow is a DOG, relegated to the living room, and Kevin is a MAN, with the manly right to the bedroom territory.

But not this time. It was a happy, perfect moment.

Second, at my urgent request, Kevin and Tebow and I walked to the tavern, OUR tavern. We hadn't been there in a while, for somehow the thought of being in a cozy bar and drinking a soda water instead of a beer makes me more than a little unmotivated to go. We tied the dog up outside, went in and each downed a chilled pint of Kiltlifter beer, which - for those you who aren't familiar with this brew - is amber in color (my favorite beer color) and contains twice the alcohol content of most beers. With that warm and buzzy feeling in our shoulders, we set down our empty glasses and continued along to sun-dappled Green Lake, walking around its 2.75-mile circumference with our fingers interlaced.

We don't usually walk with our fingers interlaced, but times like this - not to mention that Kiltlifter beer - bring our hands together, reminding us again that we have each other, and that we have a lovely lake within walking distance.

There were some other things too, but those were my favorites. Moving on to less savory subject material:

The most mind-boggling element of this whole thing (as if it isn't mind-boggling enough that a person can have such shitty godforsaken luck) is not unlike a riddle from the outside of a sugar cereal box: when is a woman pregnant and not pregnant at the same time?

The answer, OF COURSE - doesn't the whole world know this? - is an anembryonic pregnancy, otherwise known as a "blighted ovum." This is what's happened - and what is, in fact, STILL happening - to me.

Now, I'm not going to call it a "blighted ovum," because that sounds too much like either: a) something the a mean old schoolteacher would accuse you of doing or having, and rap your knuckles with a ruler as punishment; or b) some strange illness from the Middle Ages or the old colonial days, like "whooping cough" or "bubonic plague" or "crazy man's voice" (I made up that last one).

No, "anembryonic pregnancy" has a modern and benign ring to it, and what I like is that it legitimizes the experiences as an actual pregnancy, even though - by standards - it's not.

What happens is this: the egg gets fertilized and a gestational fluid-filled sac develops around it, just like what's supposed to happen. The fertilized egg, though, never turns into anything more than a little dot, and gets absorbed back into the uterus. Your body doesn't know this, however, and releases a surge of pregnancy hormones and symptoms, hence the plus sign and morning sickness (and, I hope, the cravings - for if I was really just craving cheeseburgers because I'm a glutenous cheeseburger-loving lard-ass, then I'm really going to get depressed). Even the gestational sac keeps growing as though there is a fetus inside it.

But there isn't.

In other words, an anembryonic pregnancy is like nature's greatest trick: you've got this thing growing inside you and all the signs to show it, but there isn't a baby there, or anything that will ever BE a baby. Ha ha! Joke's on you!

Of course, my immediate thought when the doctor confirmed this plight, or "ovum blight," if we're going to use that term, was: why ME of all people? Dude, I (of all people) don't need this kind of mind-screw. But then again, I learned a long time ago not to question or spew forth hatred toward the person or thing controlling the gears up there, deciding who should get screwed over and who shouldn't.

As one of my wisest friends pointed out to me: we all get good fortune coming at us in one way or another. It might not be when or how we expect it, but it comes to us. And as Kevin reminds me time and time again, we've came through life relatively unscathed until July 2006, when we both learned, for the first time, that things don't/won't always go our way. I think we've aged about ten years in the past two, and this third blip etches another crows-feet line in the corner of my eye. This is our share of bad luck, but we've had lots of good to balance it out, and - hopefully - more to come.

GOD, this sounds so irritatingly, Polyanna positive, doesn't it? I'm sorry. A bit more gore to bring this post back down to earth: the absolutely IRRITATING part of this whole dang thing is that I now must somehow expel the fluid-filled, baby-less sac inside my womb, sure to be a bloody and crampy affair like most early miscarriages. So I'm debating making that happen with meds, although I'm sure I could gnaw on some special kind of twig and grass roots to make that happen naturally. Deep down, I'm still a Western-medicine kinda gal.

In a way, it's oddly (or perhaps not-so-oddly) relieving to know that there isn't really a fetus inside that sac. That would mean losing something more than just some non-living tissue, an entity that had potential to be a person. THAT person, the brown-haired-girl who was to be our daughter.

But the biological truth is, she never was, in any form. I was pregnant with her in my mind, but not in my body. Which does make it kind of hard to process this - what I've lost, what I'm sad about, why it still feels like crap. I think for now, I can chalk it up to disillusionment, and confirmation of my now well-rooted fear of radiologists - their offices, their lab-coat-clad assistants, their machines, their darkened rooms, the wands, their switches, their goopy KY jelly, their stoic expressions.

They are like bad-news robots, and I just might have to kick the ass of the next one to serve me a bad-news sundae. I think I could do it; I can almost hold my own with Kevin at mercy and arm-wrestling.


Barbara said...

I'm inspired... think I might beat my ob into a bloody pulp the next time she tells me, "this is normal" when I moan about pain etc while she's inserting something nasty where it wasn't meant to be.

Can I add another fuckshit?


Amanda said...

((((((HUGS))))) and i am so very sorry. I too just had a "chemical pregnancy" just last week. On Sunday I was pregnant and happy and terrified and Thursday I wasnt and now its as if it never was. But it was even if only for a day or two. Just another thing to add to our "list". SORRY and hanging out in the pit. Take care and hope we both can "bounce back" from this.

Hope's Mama said...

keep hanging in there, monica. i'm impressed you're even here sharing your story at this early stage. i'm also a big fan of the amber ales myself, and if this two week wait i'm now on results in nothing but more shitty luck next week, then i might down a few myself. thanks for sharing with us. i'm still so fucking sorry it happened.

Megan said...

My one and only positive pregnancy test almost two years ago now turned out to be a blighted ovum...discovered by ultrasound after some spotting.

This has been the biggest mind fuck of my life. Why did I have a postive pregnancy after only four months of trying, never to have another one again? Should I even consider it a pregnancy? Should I even consider it a miscarriage? Why did my body continue to think it was pregnant for eight whole weeks when nothing was there?

I'm so sorry this happened to you.

'Murgdan' said...

Pollyanna or not...I'm still sending you another 'fuck' and a 'dammit' and an 'I'm so sorry you're having to go through this again'....

Awesome job with Exhale #3 as always.

*~*Lis*~* said...

While I haven't experienced this particular loss myself, several of my IVF friends have and I hear it's a big mind-fuck.

Again I'm so sorry for you.

Gonzo Parenting Zine said...

Monica... How many times you've now heard this: "I'm so sorry..." But it's true.

Yes... why you of all people?

Perhaps (as if this is any consolation) it's because you are strong, and you use your experience to help others.

I'm sure you're tired of being nature's test subject, though.

We're praying for you and your honey. Please, please, let me know if you need anything. I'll come over at the drop of a hat and shoot whiskey with you, or whatever you need.


bir said...


Lori said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with all this s***. Sometimes, life sucks and hope is not always a good thing.

In the words of my mom, my "friend" has arrived this week. Another month gone by without even a possibility. I don't know why I bother trying (KUKD6) but I guess I'm too stupid or demented to stop. Can't wait to hear what wonderful words my ob has to say at my appt in April.


Michelle said...

Monica you sound like you are doing as well as you can with such a shitty thing happening. I am just really so bummed out for you. I am so with on kicking the ass of the next one that severs up a "bad-news sundae". I completely feel the same way. In fact I feel really sorry for the next person if they have to do so. Hang in there! You do have a wonderful husband!

leahjane8 said...

KuKd #2 for me was a "blighted ovum." I too felt some relief in the fact that there wasn't anything in the sac and, in my case, we knew from the start that things were pretty shaky. That experience can't even compare to my first loss.

But it still fucking sucked. And I really felt like, "Seriously.....another one? Does this seem fair?" (knowing full well that fair has nothing to with it)

And, like your husband, I believe that until February 2007, I went through life relatively unscathed. Sometimes that gives me comfort. And other times I think "Okay, at this point, I'm pretty scathed. Can I please have a live baby now?"

I don't really know you at all and it feels a little strange to say this and to feel it, but I have thought about you often over the last few days. I'm glad to hear that you're "okay." That's what I told people too and its actually how I felt alot of the time. But like I said before, it still fekking sucks and I'll still be praying for you.

Monica LeMoine said...

Now, I'm not saying I would ever wish a "blighted ovum" on anyone (GOD I hate that term!!), but I'm kind of glad that some of you have experienced this before, or know someone who has. It makes me feel less reproductively freakish, somehow, more a part of the greater female community. Know what I mean?

leahjane8 said...

Yup. Since I have discovered these blogs I have felt much less ALONE IN ALL THIS. And I hate the term "blighted ovum" too. I mean, what does that even mean?! Isn't a "blight" something that happens to crops or your garden or something

Brenna said...

Definitely with you on the term "blighted"--I'd be striking that for the alternative, too. I'm also not crazy about "chemical pregnancy," of which we've had quite a few. Though I guess using something negative-sounding like blighted and chemical to describe such sucky experiences is only fair. I'm also just miserable that this happened to you, and though I know you've heard it all before, just really sorry.

Your post is beautiful though, particularly the part about you and Kevin's hands coming together as you walked around the lake--those are the moments I try to hold onto at times like this.

Thanks for sharing~

sharonvw said...

Glad to hear you're doing ok Mon. It doesn't matter how you get KuKd, it sux regardless!
The disappointment is always the worst part for me!

Cara said...

Thanks for the details Mon. And - for the record - I loved your freakishly pollyana section. Of course - I would.


Jill said...

Glad to hear that Tebow and Kevin are helping you through this messed-up time. Bearhugs, as always, from Brooklyn. You've been in my thoughts so often, my dear.

chonaschaka said...

I'm so sorry. My second IVF was a blighted ovum and was heart breaking. If you have the option have a d&c vs taking methotrexate. The d&c is quick and you can go on with your life right away. With the drugs you may have to have more than one dose, I hear the cramps can be horrible, plus you're supposed to wait up to 3 months before trying to conceive again. In my case, it suppressed my immune system substantially and I got a really bad boil on my neck which was painful and lasted months plus I also got a tooth abcess. Definitely something to discuss with your doctor! I wish you peace and better days ahead. Sending you virtual hugs!!

chonaschaka said...

I'm so sorry. My second IVF was a blighted ovum and was heart breaking. If you have the option have a d&c vs taking methotrexate. The d&c is quick and you can go on with your life right away. With the drugs you may have to have more than one dose, I hear the cramps can be horrible, plus you're supposed to wait up to 3 months before trying to conceive again. In my case, it suppressed my immune system substantially and I got a really bad boil on my neck which was painful and lasted months plus I also got a tooth abcess. Definitely something to discuss with your doctor! I wish you peace and better days ahead. Sending you virtual hugs!!

Rebecca said...

I think we should all stage a boycott of the term "blighted ovum," at least until the medical industry starts to use the term "blighted penis" instead of erectile dysfunction (or for any other problem that relates to penises).

Seriously, why do all of the negative terms only relate to female reproductive issues??

More fucks coming your way from Brooklyn, Monica.

wifey said...

I've never commented here but I've been a lurker for a little while. I just wanted to tell you that you are in my thoughts. I truly wish that no one ever had to go through anything like this, but as my therapist says, things like this can really cement a marriage. And yours sounds rock solid.

Keep your chin up, girl.

heidi said...

Damn it Monica- what tha' f**ck. I too am so sorry. And damn the person who came up with "Blighted ovum". I still remain in a place of hope for you and motherhood. Holding onto a little of the heartbreak for you so you don't have to hold it all yourself. Carry on keep all of your boys close to you. They'll keep you buoyed when swells like this come through. Hugs.

Coming2Terms said...

I can just feel the passion and pain in this post. Sigh. The idea that resonated for me in particular is the notion of being pregnant in your mind...and the amped up sense of something much bigger taking place compliments of the 'mones, etc. You're facing a double whammy given the impending physical next step -- wish there was some way to help other than to say I'm sorry and I wish you peace and strength...